Please, can we get correct relationships with RM8?

Since as long as I can remember, Legacy software has properly identified family relationships. RM has never been accurate. Let me explain:
Grandmother and grandfather. One dies and remarries, the offspring of the new family are not full cousins, uncles, etc. They are half. Since Legacy has been correctly identifying this for at least a decade, why does RM still refer to these folks as cousins, uncles etc., when there is no a blood line from both parents.?


Wow, 6 days and no comments. For all of you that are worried about not getting the proper data when switching to RM8, you amaze me that you settle for incorrect relationships. What good is your data if the software misidentifies relationships. If your parents divorce and the new wife has a child, that child is not your brother or sister but step brother or step sister. RM has never gotten it right. Legacy and TFH have had it properly documented for many versions. C’mon RM, you owe us better.

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A half cousin is still a cousin, a half sibling is still a sibling. There is absolutely nothing that says that they have to have both parents in common. Step siblings are not siblings at all, and are only called step brother/sister for co convenience sake, and as I recall RM doesnt identify them as being related at all.

You may be technically correct but not accurate. I want accuracy and this doesn’t provide it. Is the DNA of step cousins the same as blood cousins? No, therefore I’d like my software to try to mimic other tools I use. If Legacy and Family Historian can be accurate, why not RM?

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What is the difference between being “technically correct” and “accurate” and why is one different to the other? You have me puzzled on that one.

That’s easy. 1/2 sisters will always call each other sisters. 2nd cousins almost always call each other cousins. You’ll call your great uncle— uncle. And, due to the ease and the fact most people aren’t genealogists, it becomes accepted (maybe that is a better phrase than technically correct) but it is not accurate. If 2 kids have different fathers, you’d have to explain why one is named Smith and the other Jones. They are 1/2 siblings. DNA is the best and most accurate example of why blended families are not accurately lumped into one family. Compare the DNA of 2 full 2nd cousins: dramatically different if the great grandfather was remarried. That is why I believe RM is inferior to Legacy or Family Historian when it comes to accuracy.

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Let’s be clear here. There is a difference between accuracy and presentation.

In the case of accuracy, every software program that I am aware of handles the data in basically the same way. Certainly the three you mentioned do. They store information about individuals and they store information about linkages between those individuals. The main types of linkages they store are spousal relationships and parent-child relationships. Spousal relationships may include marriages, partnerships, same-sex relationships (in most software now) or any other type of relationship which may result in children. Parent-child relationships are generally some variation of a linkage directly between the child and each of their parents. These type of links are mostly biological, but can also be adoption and step-child relationships. Each of the software packages you mentions use a variation of this type of organisation. They do not organise data by 1/2 sibling relationships, or great-grand uncle links. All relationships are based on the simple family unit and the parent child linkages to other family units. To that end there is not difference in the accuracy of one program over the other.

They do differ in how they present that data. Again I would not say they are inaccurate, they just use a different methodology. Even Legacy has an option to allow you choose whether or not to show 1/2 siblings in a family unit. It is a matter of preference rather than accuracy. I do agree that RM8 does come up short in the Family View. I believe the family units for all of an individual’s spousal relationships should be displayed (or at least there should be an option to do so).

As far as 1/2 relationships are concerned as long as I know that my 2nd cousin and I have the same great-grand-father but different great grandmothers then I know there is a “1/2” relationship.

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I am quite accurate. Every definition of cousin or sibling that you find specifies a common ancestor, not ancestors. 1/2 relations are constructs we have made up to describe relationships. RM is both accurate and precise in its definition by calling them brother/sister/cousin etc.

Steps are very often not siblings at all…even though some people insist on calling them a stepbrother, sister or whatever. Again. RN is both accurate and precise when it lists no relationship.

You need to stop looking at the relationships in the sense that you are and view them as they are in a legal sense.

Doug’s comments are entirely on point. I despise the “dumbing down” of relationships. Accuracy matters. Half-relationships and step-relationships with others ARE NOT the same as biological relationships. This matters most when tracking down issues of genetics.

Imagine my surprise when I found out through recent DNA evidence that my paternal grandmother apparently had relationships with two different men at the same time (8 months before she married one of them). As a result, my presumed paternal grandfather is not my biological grandfather, AT ALL. I do not know who that paternal grandfather is. I do not have CeCe Moore’s skillset. But the presumption for over 40 years was that he was, and that factually wrong misunderstanding steered me into a 40-year long odyssey amassing a genealogy of his branch of the family than includes roughly 5000 individuals, of people that I am not biologically related to. After correcting the misinformation in various trees, my focus changed to my other “bloodlines”.

There may still be reasons to hide the actual nature of relationships by mischaracterizing them, but that list is quickly diminishing. Adoptions come to mind (until one is 18 years old). But even so, many adopted children know that they are adopted, and that being adopted shows a special measure of love.

LOL, I have never seen anyone so desperate to prove a point that DNA will disprove 10 times out of 10. But, I could care less about the accuracy of your data. I have moved on to a program that suits my needs better: The Family Historian. With queries and plug-ins, there is almost nothing TFM can’t do. And, for a lot of users, they would be pleased that it takes dramatically and I mean dramatically fewer clicks to enter data.
I am not upset with the $35 I spent on the program as the RM team does deserve support. They just chose to take the software in a direction that doesn’t suit me. I do hope however, that for all those on this forum that are unhappy with one or many features of RM8 that eventually, the program will be brought up to their standards.

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Half relationships are indeed biological. Step-relationships are not, no matter what we call them.

DNA doesn’t disprove what you call half relationships, in fact it verifies them…as siblings/cousins or whatever. Your half sister is still your sister, your 1/2 first cousin three times removes, is still your 1st cousin 3 times removed. DNA will also not prove your step brother as a brother, no matter how you slice it.

From Merriam-Webster:

Definition of brother
1 : a male who has the same parents as another or one parent in common with another

Definition of sister
1 : a female who has one or both parents in common with another

Definition of cousin

1a : a child of one’s uncle or aunt

b : a relative descended from one’s grandparent or more remote ancestor by two or more steps and in a different line

Notice in every case, the parent or remote ancestor can be singular. These definitions are also used in law. So your so-called 1/2 sister still has the same inheritance rights that you do from your common parent.

Since Doug has already opted out of RM8, I just wanted to add to the conversation
Completely agree with Doug’s request to properly identify relationships as it does matter when researching lines and working with DNA–Family Tree Maker was doing it a long time ago as well as Legacy–SO PLEASE ADD THIS TO AN UPDATE!!!

As for researching, a lot of people don’t use their brains and say the 2nd wife was the mother of the child-- well the kid was born in 1842 OH when she was 14 years old ( possible) but his older proven brother was born 1840 when she was 12 years old-- and their dad did NOT marry this woman until 1854 but everybody still says she is the mother and that in itself makes a difference on the DNA matches you get— when you say she is the mother not step-mother, you get all kinds of DNA matches-- when you eliminate her totally those DNA matches also disappear ( a problem with Ancestry???) a DNA match should be a DNA match and not disappear because you eliminate a spouse

As for proper relationships listed on RM8 and DNA, it also matters as as Ancestry will give you a range of say 1st to 2nd cousin and when you click on that , it will give you a range of other possibilities such as grand niece/ grand nephew, half niece/ half nephew etc with a 97% probability rate and 1st cousin 1x removed. half 1st cousin etc with a 2% probability rate–which should be easy to figure out if you KNOW your ancestry but I was helping a friend Joe-- he knew his biological mother BUT not his biological father-- he did not know who his biological grandfather was and did NOT know who his biological 2nd g-grandfather was-- he was lead to believe his biological father was the same as his ‘sister’ which DNA showed was a half-sister–so DNA showed his father was from a specific Green line, his grandfather was from a specific Perkins line but on the Perkins line, the g-grandfather was married twice and after a while, it became very hard to figure out
( and confusing) if the DNA match was a half-cousin etc relationship or a full cousin etc relationship–as in the end it would make a difference as to who the g grandmother was–would have been much easier to look it up in RM7 or RM8
just my observations

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And I can just as easily find other dictionary sources (Oxford English Dictionary, Black’s Law Dictionary, etc.) that insist on more precise definitions (I won’t oblige by quoting them). So what objective or agenda does it serve to muddle it all up with less precise terms when more precise terms exist, are commonly used and understood, especially when DNA now plays a major part of genealogical research?

  1. Full (or biological, or natural) siblings share the blood (and the genetic material) of both common parents;

  2. Half-siblings share the blood (and the genetic material) of one common parent (either mother or father) but not the second parent;

  3. Step-siblings share no blood. They are only connected through their parents’ marriage or partnership.

Ezee pezee!

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Half siblings are indeed biological, but with only one shared parent. They are not full biological siblings with both individuals having the same parents. I inadvertently omitted a word in the fourth sentence of the first paragraph of my first post. So I will repeat it here and emphasize the missing word:

“Half-relationships and step-relationships with others are not the same as FULL biological relationships.”

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From Merriam-Webster:

Definition of half cousin

the child of a half uncle or half aunt